Noctua NH-U12P Heatsink Review


A closer look

Are you basking in the glory, or are you a little skeptical?  After all, what could the Austrians know about keeping things cool?  Well, maybe because they are surrounded by snow-capped mountains.  That’s a damned good reason as far as I’m concerned.  Actually, that would be a reason to have a knowledge of keeping things warm wouldn’t it?  Alright.  Aside from the fan that is supposedly chipped for maximum pleasure, this seems like a standard everyday heatsink that has been done over and over again.  But, as Bill Cosby said way too often, the proof is in the pudding.  At least I think that was him.

I keep my desktop computers in my studio, which was once my garage.  One of the reasons for that is because it’s convenient to have your work systems in your work area, but also because it’s usually between 50 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit in there.  As long as there’s good air flow in the cases in a room that cold, things can stay nice and chilly.  Sometimes I expect to walk in and find icicles hanging off my motherboard.  Not so far, but the winter is still young.

I opened the box to find all the parts I would need for installation.  The thermonuclear fan, mounting clips for two fans in case you want to add a second to the opposite side, an Ultra-Low-Noise-Adapter, NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound, and SecuFirm mounting kits for LGA and AM2 processors.  The heatsink only supports LGA 775, AM2, and AM2+ CPU slots.  I personally prefer a broad spectrum heatsink, but I suppose these guys intended this one for the interest of the few instead of the many.  Not being a little more universal can only hurt you.

There are few things I hate more than installing a new heatsink.  This one is one is a prime example of exactly why.  You have to remove your entire motherboard in order to install it.  The hardest part of the installation is always getting the point of actually installing it.  I slapped some of the included thermal grease on my CPU and proceeded to put everything back together.  It was something of a hassle trying to maneuver the mobo back into the case while trying not to bang anything or rip this heatsink off, but eventually I got it back together.